Getting Ready to Get Out – Step One: Visit the TAP Office
Whether you are thinking about getting out or have already started the process, there are hundreds of things to consider when preparing for the transition back into civilian life. Thankfully there are trained professionals and other resources that can guide you through the process. The idea of returning to civilian life can be exciting and overwhelming -- the transition process is complex. So where should you start?
Step One: One of the first things you must do, if you haven’t already, is to make an appointment to meet with your installation's transition assistance staff. These dedicated professionals are available to assist you with special transition benefits information, employment workshops, automated employment job-hunting tools and job banks, veteran benefits information, disabled veterans benefits information and many other types of transition and other related information is available to you. AND IT'S ALL FREE. Take full advantage of TAP and all it has to offer. Remember though, you have many steps to take, and many questions to get answered, only you and your family can make the critical decisions that must be made.
You can start the transition process as early as 12 months prior to separation or 24 months prior to retirement. The sooner you start the better. There is a lot of information to absorb and you need time to plan and decide what is in the best interest for yourself and your family.
If you are uncertain about your future plans, now is the time to get the assistance and information you need. Professional guidance and counseling are available at your Transition Assistance Office, as are workshops, publications, information resources, automated resources, and government programs. Take advantage of each one that pertains to your unique situation. In those cases where the Transition Counselor cannot answer your questions, you will be referred to subject matter experts that can give you the information that you need.
Your TAP counselor will give you a checklist to get you started. This "Pre-Separation Counseling Checklist" ( DD Form 2648) is where it all starts, it will help you to identify the benefits, counseling, and services that can help you prepare your personalized Individual Transition Plan.
If you are uncertain about your future plans, now is the time to get all the assistance and information you need. Professional guidance and counseling is available at a Transition Assistance Office, as are workshops, publications, information resources, automated resources, and government programs. Take advantage of each one that pertains to your unique situation.
The Military.com Transition Center is designed to familiarize you with the scope of the many transition resources accessible to you in addition to timelines, checklists, and other reminders to help ensure your transition is as smooth as possible .